Monday, October 25, 2010

Third Time's a Charm: The 2010 Zombie Walk Postmortem

God, I cannot get this song out of my head! Next year we need to have it repeatedly playing over the PA system on Ellsworth as the zombies stumble through. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you must have missed the movie.

Ok, now on to my annual tradition of performing a zombie walk postmortem... 

The Good

- Turnout: I really have no idea how many people showed up this year (I’m waiting on the satellite photos), but the number definitely seems to have grown from last year. I heard that the unofficial police estimate was 2,000. At first I was skeptical, however after viewing some of the videos on YouTube, I think that figure might not be so far-fetched.

- Costumes: As usual, there were some great costumes among the horde. Unfortunately I only got to see just a fraction of them up close. The Beaker zombie stood out to me simply for the pure randomness and ridiculousness of the concept.


There was also this guy, who while not a zombie, easily had one of the creepiest costumes of the night.

Silver Spring Zombie Walk 2010

Also, Zombie Rainbow Brite! There's a ton of photos in the official Flickr photo pool, so be sure to browse through them and check out some of the great costumes.

Even Jedi Jesus was in attendance. Presumably the fact that he arose from the dead qualifies him as a zombie. Seriously though people, Jesus is so mainstream. Any self-respecting hipster would have come as Lazarus.

- Community participation. Once again, there was a great crowd lining Ellsworth street to watch the zombie parade. I'm glad that the Walk has become a popular event for both participants and spectators.

The Bad

- Broken glass everywhere, zombies lurching through the streets like they just don’t care. Sadly, today’s society frowns upon wanton anarchistic destruction, which is of course exactly the type of behavior that is instinctive to zombies. Therefore, the modern zombie must learn to maintain a certain level of restraint when going about their business. Regrettably, one zombie or group of zombies got a little overenthusiastic when terrorizing the patrons of a late-night barbershop on Georgia Avenue.


Let's try and keep the property damage to a minimum next time!

- The overzealous dude who repeatedly hit me in the head with his fake cricket bat. It may have been padded (the bat, not my head), but after awhile the blows started to hurt a little.

- Every year I see some knucklehead along the Ellsworth parade route who has to assert his manhood by threatening a zombie as if the zombie were stepping to him. You are standing in the front row of spectators watching a zombie walk. How do you not get it?

- Once again, not everyone who wanted to see Dawn of the Dead was able to procure a ticket. (More on this later.)


- We need a larger dedicated marshaling place next year. Eventually the area outside of Jackie’s became so crowded with people that the police cordoned off the street to allow the rapidly growing hoard of zombies to congregate. It'd be great if we had a dedicated outdoor area with food, entertainment, etc.

- Additional movie showings. Not sure if there’s some rights issues involved, but while the AFI’s main theater is pretty large, it doesn’t have nearly enough capacity for all the zombies who want to attend the zombie flick each year. Perhaps AFI could dedicate all three theaters to zombie films, as I think we could probably fill them up fairly easily. It stinks that people got left out in the cold when tickets ran out, though don’t say we didn’t warn you.

- We need a bullhorn. Communicating with a horde of zombies can be challenging, as attested to by my sore throat the following morning. We tried to procure a bullhorn earlier that day, but Radio Shack’s (sorry, "The Shack's") dishonest inventory system led us on a wild goose chase to stores that didn't actually have any in stock.

*I use this in a strictly ironic manner, since I vociferously contend that it is not an actual word despite the fact that most employees at my company use it as a slide title in nearly every PowerPoint presentation.

Special Thanks

A huge thank you goes out to the following for helping make the event a huge success:

- The management and merchants of Downtown Silver Spring, for supporting the event with smoke machines and music as well as their donation a number of gift cards to be used as door prizes.

- Jackie's Restaurant, for hosting Ground Zero of the Zombie Outbreak at the Sidebar and Back Room.

- The AFI Silver Theatre, for once again hosting the all-important zombie movie and donating ticket vouchers for door prizes.

- The Montgomery County Police Department for ensuring no zombies got struck by motor vehicles. I think they were as amused as anyone by the whole scene.

- Last but not certainly not least, thanks to all you zombies. Without zombies it would just be a walk, and that's lame.

See you next year!


Jill said...

You MUST be kidding about the PowerPoint "learnings"!

Anonymous said...

I was walking by when the window got broke. I do hope that 1) the unfortunate zombies that were involved stepped up and claimed (financial) responsibility and 2) the zombie walk organizers do some outreach to the owner to smooth things over and ensure business support for future zombie walks. Because it was a BLAST. Exceeded all expectations.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed to hear about the broken window. At one point, the crowd was packed and I tripped on a curb and fell, literally dragging my boyfriend down with me - and fellow zombies jumped in to pull us back up. It was a calm, friendly experience.

I appreciated the longer walk this year - starting just a few blocks further down Georgia made a huge difference.

A bull horn would be great - I don't think I saw any organizers or anyone trying to lead the mob!

Of course, a major thank-you must go to the Mont. County police officers that staffed the walk. They were friendly, definitely amused, and helped keep us all safe.

Sligo said...

Can a zombie mob truly be led?

Anonymous said...

I was actually at the window when it broke and I don't know who broke it. I was walking away when one of the barbers came and grabbed me and said I broke it. I'm not sure how I could break a window and not realize it, but I wasn't going to argue. We went back to the shop and I told them if they were sure it was me that broke it, then I'd pay for it but they just yelled at me and told me the police were on the way. The police came and told us that the shops insurance was going to cover that and we should just get back to our shambling.

WheatonCalling said...

That's really a shame about their window. I didn't see the window get broken, but I did remember thinking at a few points that people seemed to be banging on windows awfully hard. Hopefully it was just an accident and that the owner's insurance will cover it without much (if any) expense to them.

whatsupwheaton said...

Really enjoyed it all - this is the second year we have done it and I think the turn out was higher and like the person said above, the longer walk was a great idea.

Only other downside I'd say was behaviour of some of the people in the AFI. Last year it was a really fun crowd and this year it was for the mostpart. However the morons who were shouting obscenities during the raffle/thanks before the movie just happened to be near us and I was praying they'd be tossed out. People like that ruin it for everyone.

had a great time at Jackies, that sidebar is huge and is definitely somewhere I'll enjoy going back to.

opportunitylol said...

So bummed I missed out! I'm like 10 minutes away from downtown Silver Spring!

Anonymous said...

stuff white people like, #461

Thomas Hardman said...

Here's another must-hear song for zombie walks.

Nice to know that this was such a success.

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